Scriptural Inerrancy as the Cornerstone of a Right Theology RESEARCH PAPER

THEO 525 LUO (spring D 2011) Systematic Theology I

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Gabriel J Skypala (ID# 23522713) May 13, 2011

Contents Title Page Thesis Statement Body PART I What is inerrancy Part II Negative Higher Criticism PART III Applying Inerrancy to our Theology PART IV The Danger of Theology without Inerrancy Conclusion Bibliography . Holding to the Inerrancy of Scripture is the essential foundation a Christian must have to live a life that is pleasing to God.Thesis Statement If we do not hold to the doctrine of Inerrancy then our theology will inevitably stray from truth which leads to orthopraxy that is not right if not blatantly wrong and sinful.

The unChristian faith-hypocritical. 13-15)! And that is part of the reason why we are known as hypocrites. 3:3. for reproof. Ideas and beliefs that were held by earlier generations are abandoned.2 Christians model themselves after those that they find in their local churches and sadly the majority. why would they need Jesus?1 The lives of Christians are depressingly dull to many of the new generations. are poor examples. and full of empty moral striving-is what Paul warned us about (Gal. If Christians do not believe that the Bible is truly God speaking to us and that it is Inerrant they will not seek to align their life in accordance with what it teaches. Kindle edition location 40 Ibid. for correction. so that the man of God may be adequate. Recent generations have become skeptical of Christianity and those associated with it. Unchristian. for training in righteousness. namely American Christians. judgmental. equipped for every good work. Second Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching. This will lead to nominal Christianity if not apostasy.Introduction Ruling out natural theology the Bible is the primary and some would say sole source of all of our theology and as such if we do not hold to the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture then every subsequent doctrine we hold is open to dismissal. from their perspective. Why is this? The Christian life looks so simplified and constricted that a new generation no longer recognizes it as a sophisticated. Christians. So instead of passing on the passion of discipleship from the first generation we 1 2 Kinnaman and Lyons. 51 . not excluding myself. The Christian faith has become markedly un-Christian according to Gabe Lyons. Young outsiders are exposed to and can choose from virtually limitless options in life. 5:1. livable response to a complex world. have become comfortable in an atmosphere of religious freedom and lost the passion for Christ that marked the first generation of Christians.

Paul D. or a movement begins by regarding biblical inerrancy as a peripheral or optional matter and abandons this doctrine. Infallibility and Authority must be solidified in our theology because if we are “tossed to and fro” on these points then everything else we say to believe is on shaky ground and will inevitably lead to major fallacies. PART I What is Inerrancy? Without precise definition of the word inerrancy and of the related doctrine of inerrancy. the Inerrancy of Scripture is the doctrine that the Bible is fully truthful in all of its teachings. a school. it is difficult to answer the question as to whether or not the Bible is inerrant.4 Briefly. 247 3 4 . Christian Theology. Scripture is the Inerrant and infallible Word of God that teaches us how to live this life.5 It Erickson.3 Every Christian should desire to live a life that is wholly pleasing to God. Why is this? It is my belief that the Christian faith in America has become so markedly un-Christian because we have allowed tradition and a watered down theology to guide us in our spirituality. Our orthopraxy is amiss because our orthodoxy is shallow because our theology is thoughtless. such as the deity of Christ of the Trinity. it frequently then goes on to abandon or alter other doctrines which the church has ordinarily considered quite major. The Meaning of Inerrancy From Inerrancy edited by Geisler 5 Erickson. According to Grenz and Olson everyone is a theologian and as such it is important. especially for those of us who call ourselves Christians that we are as accurate as possible in our theology. Christian Theology. There is evidence that where a theologian. 252 Feinburg. If we do not believe it as true we turn our back on Christ. The subject of inerrancy of Scripture and the closely related doctrines of Inspiration.have slowly become irrelevant.

Let us say that God perfectly wrote the Scriptures using humans and caused them to write only what is true. The Meaning of Inerrancy From Inerrancy edited by Geisler LaSor. We would call these original writings the autographa. 611 8 Ibid 9 Erickson. Inerrancy 6 7 . OT Survey. Christian Theology. We have to understand that Inerrancy is not measured by modern standards but by the standards of literature of the times in which Scripture was written.8 So how can we hold that the Bible we have is Inerrant? We must understand that whatever statements the Bible affirms are fully truthful when they are correctly interpreted in terms of their meaning in their cultural setting and the purpose for which they were written. The term Ipissima Verba means the exact words as spoken by Jesus. This would be how modern journalism would transcribe exactly what a person might say. The Bible was written by humans and there is nothing more human than to err.9 So we find that Inerrancy is tied to hermeneutics. Inerrancy is unless properly defined is easily misunderstood and is best understood in terms of the truth of what it says.6 But if God is the ultimate author of Scripture and He is perfect then it would seem that what He has written is perfect. Centuries of copying and sometimes even editing have allowed changes.10 An example would be the words of Jesus as recorded in the Biblical translations that we have. or variant readings.seems simple enough but as scholars have sought to look deeper into what makes up our Bible there seems to be many issues that cast doubt on this belief. It is Feinburg. These two ideas seem to pose a problem. to be introduced into the text. A perfect God used erringly human authors to write the Bible so we would assume that the Bible contains errors. But even if they record a person’s words exactly they can still take them out of context and toy with them enough to make them say any number of things which were not the intention of the speaker to communicate. 263 10 Feinburg.7 Unfortunately the Bible we have was composed from copies of copies of these autographa. et al. Paul D.

While copiers and editors have inevitably changed the verba of the autographa we know that God has divinely preserved His intention so that we have the Vox of God’s intent. equipped for every good work.13 From my perspective when negative higher criticism is used the critic starts with a preconceived theory that Scripture is not divinely inspired and seeks to prove it.11 This concept is the easiest way to understand the doctrine of inerrancy. We can still hold the doctrine of full inerrancy and still fully engage the questions that modern criticism raises. 124-125 Payne. Thereby we can hold the doctrine of Inerrancy and know that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching.12 Higher Criticism seeks to use modern scientific methods to interpret the text and understand what we have in our hands in comparison with what was originally written. J. James book review of INERRANCY AND THE SPIRITUAL FORMATION OF YOUNGER EVANGELICALS in Religious Studies Review · VOLUME 35 · NUMBER 1· MARCH 2009 11 12 . What we do have is the Ipissima Vox of Jesus. for correction. for training in righteousness. PART II Negative Higher Criticism At the heart of today’s trend among some conservative Christians to give up belief in the full. We need not shy away from critical methodology of the Bible as it will only help us to strengthen our position. so that the man of God may be adequate. It is good and necessary to take a good look at Scripture and seek to understand how we have what we have in the modern Bible. New Testament. Whereas if one were to start with the Lea and Black. From Inerrancy edited by Geisler 13 Beilby. Higher Criticism and Biblical Inerrancy. inerrant authority of Scripture lies negative higher criticism.understood that we do not have the Ipissima Verba of Jesus. This means that while we do not have his exact words we do have his exact meaning. for reproof.Barton. We have the exact meaning of what God intended to say. This takes many forms and it is so boring that I don’t want to get into it.

or you are in the world and the world is squeezing you into its mold. a teacher of Bible study methods for many a year at Dallas Theological Seminary. Our theology is a mishmash of ideas that have bombarded us over our life and it is not something that we make an effort to organize. Living by the Book.goal to simply understand whether or not Scripture is God’s Word and divinely inspired one would come to the conclusion that it indeed was. This revelation is Jesus Christ. What we do have is Scripture. understand and be able to communicate. says that you are either in the Word and the Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ. Howard Hendricks. Modern people do not have a way to know Jesus in the flesh. Models of Revelation . PART III Applying Inerrancy to our Theology It seems to me that while everyone is a theologian not everyone makes a conscious effort to formulate the best theology that they can. The Bible is the document of Revelation by which we can know Christ and be saved. While this might be understandable for a non-believer it is unacceptable for the believer. A right theology starts with the belief in God and that He has revealed Himself to us and given us a means to salvation.14 How can we have the motivation to get into the Word if we do not believe that it is true? This is where it is imperative for the Christian to formulate a right theology. 9 Dulles.15 PART IV The Danger of Theology without Inerrancy As we have noted already a theology that strays from Inerrancy inevitably strays in other areas as well. If we do not hold to Inerrancy we inevitably will not see the Bible as Authority 14 15 Hendricks.

for correction and for training in righteousness. We are lying prostrate on the ground like dead men as the God of the universe. Creator and Sustainer of all things speaks to us. To base it on Scripture we must be convinced of the authority of Scripture to teach us what is best for orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Believing in Inerrancy will help us to hold these words above all others as the Word of God and to respond to . Imagine with me we are in the presence of God. I believe that if one understands the doctrine then one would hold it firmly. Do the Scriptures hold less weight because we do not experience them coming directly from the mouth of God? Absolutely not. A theology without inerrancy is a theology that inevitably steers us far off course. If we are truly saved and the Spirit of Christ is in us then we will want to walk righteously. And if one does not hold to it as they see perceived errors in the Bible then they inevitably will not do what it says. We must hold to the belief that the Bible is inerrant and speaks to us authoritatively as the Word of God. In order to form a right theology we must base it on the Word of God that we find in Scripture. Conclusion In order to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord it is imperative that we as Christians form a right theology. for rebuke. How would we respond to those words? These are the exact words we find in Scripture but how quickly do we forget and we dismiss Scripture. The Scriptures are the source of our understanding of how God wants us to live and how one is to be saved. It is profitable for teaching.and if it has no authority for us then why would we ever feel like we really need to do what it says? This is why a right understanding of inerrancy is so crucial. This belief is rooted in our belief of the doctrine of Inerrancy.

creativity. If we truly believed that would we not seek to live out what it says with passion. Someone once told me that there is no such thing as delayed obedience only disobedience. James book review of INERRANCY AND THE SPIRITUAL FORMATION OF YOUNGER EVANGELICALS in Religious Studies Review · VOLUME 35 · NUMBER 1· MARCH 2009 . and an endless zeal? If I do not do what Scripture says then I am disobeying God. All of us will be judged by God one day and if we are given His instruction would it not be best to follow it? Bibliography Beilby.them as such.

2003) MacArthur.Carson.. (Grand Rapids. and Moo. Millard J. 1998) Geisler.A. Grand Rapids. Frederic William. David and Nordling. 1997) Scott. (Grand Rapids. MI:Wm. and Olson. TN:B&H Academic. (Grand Rapids. An Introduction to the New Testament. John. 2005) Dulles. Cherith Fee. Nashville. IL:IVP. Guretzki. Avery S.. and Hendricks. David Allan. (Downers Grove. (Grand Rapids... Julius Jr. Eerdmans Publishing Co. MI: Zondervan. D. J. Roger E. William D. Norman L. (Maryknoll. Stanley J.. 1996) Hendricks. Who needs Theology. Old Testament Survey. Douglas J.. Walter A. 2001) Erickson. Inerrancy (Grand Rapids.. and Black. MI: Baker Academics. IL:IVP. 1999) Grenz. Living by the Book. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. 1991) Kinnaman. Thomas D. Christian Theology. 1996) Lea.. (Grand Rapids. Gabe UnChristian.. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. 1995) . (Nashville: Word. MI: Zondervan Publishing. Howard G. 1992) Elwell. 2007) Lasor. B. Models of Revelation. The New Testament: It’s Background and Message. David Alan.J. Stanley J. (Downers Grove.1980) Collection of Articles Grenz. Baker Books. Hubbard. William Sanford. (Chicago:Moody. and Bush. The MacArthur Study Bible. Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. MI:Baker Academic.. David and Lyons. MI:Baker Academic. NY:Orbis Books.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.